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What you need to know for tax season

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 by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - While we're still months away until the filing deadline, thousands of island residents have already done away with their taxes.

Tax season has officially begun. "A lot of people are filing already; we have roughly 2,000 returns that are filed already," according to Rev & Tax director John Camacho. He said employers are required by law to provide the W-2 Form to their employees by January 31. And while it appears many have filed already, Camacho says it's comparatively less than this time last year. "But for this tax season, everyone started late compared to last year because there were some laws that were not actually passed and there was a slight delay with the IRS on some of the schedules and forms and rates," he shared.

Camacho says Rev & Tax does not have Guam-specific income tax forms, but updated forms and instructions will be available by Monday. The current IRS forms have sections that do not apply to Guam such as tax credits or fees related to the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Guam as you recall was exempt from the implementation of Obamacare last July.

"But we just caution them that all those sections that don't apply for Guam, it may delay their return, because if they claim something then we have to communicate them to make sure they can't claim this stuff for any credits," said Camacho.

And while the tax filing deadline isn't until April 15, Camacho says several island residents have decided to file earlier as tax refunds are being paid faster and on a first-in, first-out basis. "By fiscal year, I believe we paid roughly out for FY14 about $139-140 million of tax refunds, and this year again we want to be on top of it and we want to make sure we timely pay those refunds," he said.

The last payout of refunds covered up to December 31, 2014. So when can we expect the first batch of tax refund payments? "I know basically the intent is to try and get the refunds out quickly. I know DOA is putting aside funds as required by law. I think the ratio is around $0.25-$0.27 for every dollar collected for income tax is put aside for the refund," he said.
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